Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Quake Day Three

Sunday, March 13

Woke up with the sun- no surprise there, after going to bed just after it set, 10 hours of sleep (well, 8 if you subtract two hours waking up during aftershocks). I flipped the light switch entering the bathroom- force of habit. Nothing happened. I made some pancakes for the kids- have to use up some milk and eggs before they go bad. And comfort food is good for shock. After breakfast, the wife washed the dishes in the neighbor's river while the kids and I walked the dog and tied up the goats. We spent the morning trying to be normal- reading books, folding laundry, cleaning. Had "chijimi" a kind of Korean vegetable pancake type thing for lunch, cooked on the campstove of course.

After lunch we headed for town for some news, and to see if the lines at the supermarkets had calmed down. There was still no power or water. The big supermarket was still rationing out food to a huge line, but one of the smaller markets had a short line. They were selling one day's worth of food- grab-bag style. 500 yen/bag. We thought, why not? And got in line. After purchasing, we found three packets of ramen, a piece of fruit, a chocolate bar, and a salty snack. Not exactly nutritious, but it could be worse. Definitely not worth $5 though.

After that, we went back to City Hall to check out the situation and make a phone call or two. It wasn't until after that we found out you can use any public phone in the disaster area for free. No need to wait in line at just that phone. There were huge lines of people waiting for water at the disaster center in City Hall, and a Japanese Army jeep with two soldiers. One thing noticable was that there were not as many cars on the street as the previous day. And I heard a lot of people starting to wonder about fuel. Some people were beginning to line up outside the gas stations that were still closed.

On the way home from town, we met our daughter's classmate's family! They had driven down from the mountain to deliver food and water to us on their way to town! At their house, they had running water, propane, and most of the wild boar still frozen in their deep freeze. So a wonderful reunion was held by the side of the road. They offered for us to come and take refuge at their place, but we had high hopes the power would be on by evening, and thanked them but refused.

When walking the dog that evening, we noticed a lot fewer cars on the road. Other people were feeling the fuel pinch. A quiet candlelit dinner of pork soup and rice balls, a few hands of "Go Fish" with the boy, and an early bedtime.

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